Biomarkers, SF, Lisp, and Unicycling

On Saturday Jay and I made our way to NorCal CrossFit to listen to a talk about how to use biomarkers to improve your health.

It was interesting. They were pitching a product called WellnessFX. They take a blood sample and check for levels of biomarkers like Vitamin D, different types of cholesterol, sodium, and potassium. In total they test for over 75 different markers. It was an informative time, they had effective charisma.

It brings to light how often we let doctors choose our health for us. It’s “good enough” or “not unhealthy” so we don’t strive to improve. In life, you can always be better.

Jay and I got groceries. He wanted McDonald’s, I felt like that was a dirty decision having just spent time with some of the most fit people in the Bay Area. He consented. Safeway had an amazing deal for buy-one-get-one chicken breasts.

We came home and I practiced being “Chef Jesse” and taught him how to stir fry chicken. Another roommate, Z, has taught me so I feel indebted to spread the wealth of knowledge.

Harvey Multani and Jay were planning to go up to San Francisco for a dinner meeting. I called my friend Ricardo who lives up there. I met him when I first came to the area in January. I wanted to hang out, he said it was hailing and raining.

Harvey’s response? “Only people that live in San Francisco complain about San Francisco weather. It’ll be fine!”

Indeed it was. The trip up was fascinating, with Harvey delving into the details of his plans for altering the financial landscape of the world and Jay talking about restructuring how we educate humans.

Harvey’s view of life is infinite: “Treat people well because the game is long.”

I introduced them to my friend Ricardo and a couple of people from where he works. Then we headed off to Haight-Ashbury.


The word “Now” has meant a lot to me over the years. It helps me focus on the present moment and be fully invested and enjoy what life is. Focusing on what you have right now lowers your expectations and gives you pause to consider your blessings.

“Beware the deadly donkey, falling slowly from the sky. You can choose the way you live, my friend, but not the way you die.”

When I read 100 Tips about Life, I realized I needed to get “Now” tattooed. I inked it with a spacepen for several weeks before setting up a date and getting the needle. It was over in about 60 seconds, but now I’m stimulated to focus on the beauty that’s ever-present.


In a shop near the parlor was an incredible carving with a price at twenty-five grand.


I enjoy when dinosaurs are self-referring.


On the way home I had a long talk with my dad about life. We’re shooting video for some conferences soon in Vegas and Amsterdam and London. Next Wednesday I leave for Vegas.

Sunday morning I took a rest day.

I’ve been reading The Evolution of Lisp, a fascinating and detailed story about how the programming language has evolved and merged over the years.

So true: “The whole story of language evolution and diversification is against a background of human concerns and institutions.”

Another trait I find amusing: “Programmers began to use the existing facilities in unintended ways. Then the designers had to go back and split off the desired functionality. The pattern of design (careful or otherwise), unintended use, and later redesign is common.”

Sounds a bit like life in general.

My neuroscientist roommate, Spencer, studies brains at Stanford. He’s giving a talk tomorrow about real-time fMRI and biofeedback. The MRI machine scans about every two seconds, so all the mathematics and computation must be done within that interval. It scans about 10,000 voxels (volume pixels), each about half a millimeter. With some math wizardry we can determine the functional networks in the brain and then build an image to present to the patient. That creates a feedback loop of an image that you can change with your thoughts.

Using biofeedback you can learn to reduce chronic pain, control motors, and change your cognitive state. It’s powerful stuff. He said there was a commercial EEG machine out now for $200. This might be a new fundamental strategy for improving your life experience.

I practiced unicycling. Spencer has one. He’s the kind of guy that can do things you wish you could do. So I started learning.

I admit it’s not sexy. I do it for the improvement in balance and learning what the human body is capable of.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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